Monday, 31 December 1990

The Valkyrie Chronicles: The Search for Magus Chapter 1

    Six months has passed since the death of Ambassador Magus. The Valkyrie had returned to Earth for repairs, with the entire crew being given shore leave. Watt, Singh and Amarus had gone to Scotland on a touring holiday. All had gone well, until one night Singh had been entrusted with driving their hired vehicle. It had been their original intention to tour the lochs: they had already visited Loch Ness and Holy Loch, and according to their plans they should have been heading to Loch Lomond. When Watt and Amarus stepped awoke the next day and stepped out of the camper it was not Loch Lomond that greeted them. It was a stretch of rocky shoreline, and two miles offshore could be seen a rocky island topped by a gothic castle. It was Craigmillar Island. Watt gazed at Singh.

    “Why here, Gourlak?” he asked.
    Singh returned his gaze.
    “I don’t know. I just felt I had to be here.”
    They returned to the camper. Singh’s behaviour was soon forgotten as they resumed their itinerary. Then, as they went to dinner in the nearest town, in the best restaurant, he once more gave them cause for concern. When off duty, but attending dinners, Singh habitually wore a knee length white tunic and small white cap. On this occasion he appeared wearing a jet black tailcoat and bright blue cravat, complete with wing collar and black homburg hat. Nothing was said, but his friends were concerned. Watt contacted Trospheo for advice.
    “Do not worry.” she said. “He is going through displacement. He was the last one with Magus.”
    Watt, though still concerned, set his mind at east. It was not so long.
    They had decided to spend the last night of their time in Scotland in a hotel Watt had been awoken by a blinding light in his room. When it cleared the noble figure of Gandalf the White could be seen.
    “Why did you leave him?” boomed the wizard.
    “Who?” asked Watt, not a little afraid.
    “Magus.”
    Now Watt was puzzled as well.
    “I don’t know what you mean.” he replied.
    Gandalf stepped forward and placed his staff against Watt’s forehead.
    “He is not there. Then all he knew, all he was, is gone forever.”
    “What do you mean?” asked Watt.
    Gandalf seated himself upon the bed.
    “When Magus saved you and your grandfather from the T1000 it was only at the expense of using all his life energy in one go. The same life energy is that which keeps the Istari from aging. Once he had expended it he had two choices, either find a temporary host, as in the Trill, or to find the nearest energy source to repair his own body. You, like your grandfather, were the closest thing he had to family. I assumed he had joined with you or your grandfather.”
    “Not with me.” said Watt sadly. “I was too far away. So was Grandfather.”
    “Then there is no hope.” replied Gandalf.
    He turned to leave.
    “Wait.” said Watt. “What is he had found a way?”
    He related the story of Singh’s strange behaviour.
    “It would seem from what you have said, Captain, that Singh is indeed being used as a vessel. Your duty is clear. You must take Singh and bring him to the Time of Legends. There we can rejoin Magus’ body and his mind.”
    Suddenly Amarus rushed in.
    “Jim, it’s Singh. He’s vanished.”

    Many thousands of light years away the Starfleet science vessel, the USS Einstein, approached the Time of Legends. It’s mission was simple, study the re-generation of Valhalla. The gods of that land could do no more reconstruction of their own, it was now up to the Time’s own natural devices.
    On board the Einstein, commanded by Captain Daniel Matthews, sat a familiar figure from the Valkyrie. After returning to Earth Sutek was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant Commander, and rather than take shore leave he decided to take a temporary assignment as science officer of the Einstein. Also on board and acting as a scientific consultant was Professor Paul Watt, brother of the Valkyrie captain.
    “I always get an uneasy feeling whenever I pass this planet.” said Matthews.
    “I can’t see why.” said the Professor. “It’s just your average Class M planet.”
    “A Class M planet with loads of monsters on!” remarked Matthews.
    “With all due respect, dinosaurs, dragons and orcs can hardly be described as monsters.” said Sutek.
    “Enough of this.” said Matthews. “Begin your scans Commander.”
    Sutek switched on his sensors. An image of the Time appeared on his screen. Professor Watt joined him at the science station.
    “Scanning now.” said Sutek. “Sector one, the forestry section. Average vegetation, temperature 21 degrees Celsius.”
    “Sector two.” the Professor continued. “Desert terrain, no vegetation. Temperature 150 degrees Celsius.”
    “Sector three, tropical rain forest. Temperature 47 degrees Celsius.”
    “Sector four, final sector. Antarctic terrain. No vegetation. Temperature minus 70 degrees Celsius.”
    “Remarkable.” said Sutek. “All of the Earth’s terrains in a hundred mile radius.”
    “This place still gives me the creeps.” said Matthews.
    “I’m picking up something else, Captain.” said the Professor. “A life form.”
    “Confirmed.” said Sutek. “Somehow there is a life form on the shores of Valhalla.”
    “How can that be?” said Matthews. “That Odin fellow said that all of the remaining inhabitants would be in Asgard. There surely can’t be anything down there!”
    “The sensors do not lie, Captain.”, said Sutek. “There is a life form.”
    A smile appeared on the Professor’s face.
    “This may be a new life form, Captain, and this may be our only chance to study it. It could have something to do with the regenerative cycle.”
    “I don’t know.” said Matthews.
    “I agree with the Professor.” said Sutek. “It would be prudent to take a look.”
    Matthews rubbed his chin.
    “Okay, but I’m putting my neck on the line with this one. My orders were just to study the regeneration from afar, and not to interfere with it.”
    “We won’t be interfering.” said the Professor. “Just studying, as ordered.”
    “Very well.” said Matthews. “But don’t be too long.”

    Singh sat in the bar at Heathrow Spaceport. As he sat, drinking whisky, a Ferengi sidled over.
    “You are Singh?”
    Singh nodded.
    “And you are?”
    The Ferengi smiled.
    “That does not matter. What does is that you are looking for a ship. This I have. I name the price, you name the place.”
    “The place is the Time of Legends.”
    “The Time?” screeched the Ferengi. “Are you insane?”
    “No, I am not.” replied Singh indignantly.
    A Federation security officer came over.
    “Dr. Singh, you’re disturbing the other patrons. Perhaps I can give you a life home.”
    “My dear boy, whatever is the point of that?” asked Singh.
    He raised one hand and waited. And waited. The security man took him gently by the arm.
    “I think you should come with me.”
   
    Watt stood in the office of Admiral Lethbridge-Stewart.
    “I’m afraid it’s out of the question Watt.” said the Admiral. “The Valkyrie is undergoing a major refit.”
    “Fair enough sir.” replied Watt. “I had to try.”
    He left the office. Trospheo, Amarus, Lom, Pendragon and Tompkins were waiting outside.
    “What was the reply?” asked Pendragon.
    “A resounding now. However, I am still going. First we have to get Singh out of the nut hutch.”

    Sutek and Professor Watt had beamed down to Valhalla. As soon as they had arrived Sutek took out his tri-corder and held it out in front of him.
    “The life form is fifty metres to the left.”
    Sutek and the Professor walked for about fifty metres until they came to the beach. There they found what they were looking for.”
    “It’s Magus’ funeral boat.” said the Professor.
    He walked over to the boat and looked inside. There was not much left of it, mainly ashes, but he did see something.
    “His clothes don’t seem to be affected at all by the fire.”
    The Professor held his tri-corder out in front of him and began scanning the boat.
    “I think we may have found our life forms. Look.”
    Sutek and Watt walked over to the other side of the boat. There they saw Magus’ cape. On the cape they saw what seemed to be giant slug-like creatures.
    “It is the microscopic life forms on the cape.” said Sutek. “The regeneration process has regenerated them.”
    Then there was a huge rumble as the ground beneath them began to shake. Then the tumble subsided, but what they heard after that made them look up. It was a scream, the scream of a human.
    “There’s someone on this island.” said the Professor.

    A few hours had passed. Lom had returned to his temporary assignment as consultant on the new Lohengrin. Trospheo had returned to the main docking bay. While this was going on Pendragon, Amarus and Tompkins had managed to sneak back onto the Valkyrie.
    Pendragon and Tompkins stood in engineering.
    “How long until the start of the barion sweep?” asked Pendragon.
    “Fifteen minutes.” Tompkins replied. “With luck I may be able to make them think there is some sort of malfunction. That should give us enough time.”
    “I just hope we have enough.”
    Pendragon activated his communicator.
    “Are you in position Tamar?”
    “I’m in the Jeffries tube now, Commander. I’ve found the right junction box, but now I need your help.”
    “I’ll be there in two minutes. You know what to do now, Mark.”
    Pendragon left engineering. Tompkins then activated the computer.
    “Computer, recognise Tompkins, Mark I., Lieutenant, USS Valkyrie.”
    “Voice recognised.”
    “Computer, please establish a link with the repair systems at the docking bay.”
    A few seconds passed.
    “Link established.”
    Tompkins keyed in a few digits. Within a matter of minutes he was into the mainframe of the repair computer. He them began to feed false information into the computer. On the station it began to look as if there was a major malfunction within the repair computer. When he had finished Tompkins activated his communicator.
    “Tompkins to Pendragon. Assignment complete.”
    “Good work. Now report to the battle bridge.”
    Pendragon soon joined Amarus in the Jefferies tube. Amarus was at the junction box.
    “How’s it going?”
    “It’s not going. I can’t access the saucer separation controls.”
    “Let me try.”
    Pendragon then used the tried and tested method that had been used for centuries. He hit the panel as hard as he could. The panel door then swung open. Pendragon smiled.
    “When all else fails…!”
    Amarus pulled down the small lever. A loud clicking sound could be heard above them. Amarus then pulled down the other lever and there was another clicking sound.
    “It’s done. All we have to do is go down slightly then forward.”
    While all this was going on Watt arrived at the main infirmary. He showed the guard his identification.
    “I’m here to see Dr. Singh.”
    The guard opened the door. Watt was now inside.
    “Ah, Captain Watt.” said the nurse behind the desk. “I expect you are here to see Dr. Singh.”
    “Such a pity. He’s a good man, I guess he just let things get on top of him.”
    The nurse let Watt into Singh’s call. As soon as he entered Singh got up from his bed.
    “James, what are you doing here?”
    “Don’t say anything. What are you like on playing ill?”
    A minute or so later Watt rushed out of the cell.
    “Nurse, there’s something wrong with Singh. I think he’s dead!”
    The nurse rushed into the cell. She saw Singh lying on his back on the bed. As soon as she turned her back on Watt he took out his phaser, which was set on stun, and fired. Singh then got up and placed the nurse on the bed. Watt then opened the door and called to the guard. The guard rushed in, but another phaser blast took care of him.
    “Starfleet is not going to like this.” said Singh.
    In the monitor room overlooking the docking bay sat Ensign Archer Greenleaf. This posting was considered to be one of the most boring in Starfleet, but to an elf it was rather interesting. Then Trospheo and Lom entered.
    “I trust everything is all right, Ensign.” said Trospheo.
    “Everything is going to plan.” Greenleaf replied.
    “Are you zzure thizz will work?” asked Lom.
    “It is necessary.” Trospheo replied.
    “This won’t hurt, will it?” asked Greenleaf.
    “It hasn’t before.” Trospheo replied. “Remember, we have to make it look convincing.”
    “I only wish I was going with you.”
    “You have many years ahead of you in Starfleet. We don’t want to jeopardize your career.”
    Trospheo then sat in the chair next to Greenleaf. She placed her hand on his temple and stared straight into his eyes.
    “Relax. Take things easy. This will not hurt you.”
    Greenleaf’s eyes began to feel heavy. A few seconds later and the elf was in a deep sleep.
    Lom dragged Greenleaf over to the cupboard and put him in it. Trospheo then walked over to the panel. As she began to operate it Watt and Singh entered.
    “Good evening Captain.” said Trospheo.
    “Everything ready?”
    “Exactly as ordered.”
    “Would you mind telling me what the hell is going on?” asked Singh.
    “You are.” Watt replied. “You’ve got a date on the Time of Legends.”
    Watt, Singh and Lom made their way to the exit.
    “You’ll be joining us on the Time?” Watt queried.
    “I’ll be there as soon as I can.” Trospheo replied. “And gentlemen, god speed.”
    Watt smiled, and then left the monitor room. Seconds later they were on the bridge where Pendragon, Tompkins and Amarus were waiting for them.
    “All is ready sir.” said Pendragon.
    Watt seated himself in the captain’s chair.
    “Thank you, gentlemen, but there is no point in ruining all of your careers. Only Singh and I need to go.”
    “With all due respect sir.” said Pendragon. “You’ll have to throw us off to get rid of us.”
    Watt smiled.
    “Very well Commander. If you would like to take the helm with Mr. Tompkins…”
    “It’s been a while, but I think I can get used to it again.”
    On board the new Lohengrin Captain Connor Macleod lay in his quarters. Then the siren rang out.
    “Yellow alert. Captain report to the bridge.”
    Macleod got to his feet and walked over to the com panel.
    “Macleod here. How can we have a yellow alert in space dock?”
    “We are sir. Someone is trying to steal the Valkyrie.”
    “Who?”
    “Captain Watt!”
    On the battle bridge of the Valkyrie Watt gave the order.
    “You know what to do, Mr. Tompkins.”
    “Aye sir.”
    With one slight movement the Valkyrie moved backwards slightly, releasing itself from the saucer section, and then it moved down slightly. Then it began to move forward on impulse power.
    On the Lohengrin Macleod raced onto the bridge.
    “Plot an intercept course, Ensign, ahead full impulse power.”
    They were not the only ones trying to stop the Valkyrie. At the main control room of the station they initiated moves to close the docking bay doors. On the Valkyrie they began to counter that move. Lom established a link with the control room computers and jammed the signal. The report of this went through to the Lohengrin.
    “Open hailing frequencies.” Macleod ordered.
    A message went through to the Valkyrie.
    “Valkyrie, this is Captain Macleod. Stop this Jim, or I’ll make sure you never sit in the captain’s chair again!”
    The Valkyrie was now close to the docking bay doors. A few seconds later they went into open space. A thousand kilometres away from the station and warp drive was initiated.
    “Let’s se what trans-warp can do against the Valkyrie!” said Macleod. “Engage!”
    The helmsman started the warp drive. The sound of warp engines building up to maximum power filled the engine room, but then there was what only could be described as a splutter, and then a cough. Then the Lohengrin ground to a complete halt, while the Valkyrie was building up to maximum warp drive. On the bridge of the Valkyrie Lom turned to Singh and smiled. He held his hand out and gave something to the surgeon.
    “A gift, doctor. From one zzurgeon t another! Warp drive computer chipzz!”
    “I would still like to know what is going on!” said Singh.
    “You have an appointment, Doctor.” said Watt. “With